Category Archives for "Exercises"

When Bending with the Wind Becomes a Full 180-Degree Pivot

At the very moment the order to shelter in place came down in mid-March, Roshi Joan Halifax “hermetically sealed” Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico and “flipped” an in-person chaplaincy training that was scheduled to start in 48 hours to an entirely online format.  60 students now participating in a community of wise […]

Pandemic Lessons from a Cat Bite

My cat bit me last Saturday evening, and I’m using that event to explore parallels with the dangers – and resourcing – around the current COVID-19 pandemic. Danger – Naïve – Resourcing I happened to be on a Zoom call with several friends when my cat, sitting on my lap, bit my arm enough to […]

The ABC’s of Working with Difficult Emotions

Just daily living evokes many emotions throughout the day anyway, and especially in a time of great disruption and change like the current pandemic, we experience some emotion or another every single moment of the day. Anger, fear, joy, surprise, disgust, rage, grief, often one right after the other. And whether we like feeling these […]

Hangin’ Out in Limbo? – Here’s a Tool That Can Help

William Bridges put “limbo” smack in the middle of any process of transition in his classic (and truly deservedly so) Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. Bridges found, in his research and in his own experience, that every beginning begins with an ending.  He called the markers of that ending disorientation, disidentification, disenchantment, disengagement, dismantling. […]

Paradox of Pandemic – Weariness and Wonder

“We Are Not Stuck at Home. We Are Blessed to Have a Home” comes from a sign sent to me by my friend Lynn. There are so many paradoxes these days of coping with sheltering-in-place. A neighbor walking her dog stopped to take a photo on her cell phone of the bougainvillea blooming to bursting […]

Plowing through the Day with Gratitude

There’s much deep wisdom in “being grateful for everything that is going more than all right,” as my teacher James Baraz would say, to plow through despair when things are going terribly wrong. Or even mildly wrong. Or are just wearying. Coping with the losses and changes from this current pandemic can be hard.   […]

The Practice of Poignancy

The last film I saw in a theater with friends, before gathering in public places was banned by the local health department in mid-March 2020 to “flatten the curve” in the spread of the coronavirus, was #Anne Frank: Parallel Stories. A poignant exploration of Anne’s family hiding in a friend’s flat in Amsterdam for two […]

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